When Ford announced that they would offer the 2015 Mustang with an optional, 2.3-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, you could almost hear the jimmie rustling of pony-car fanboys nationwide. To even smell the possibility of such a configuration under the hood of such an iconic muscle car was tantamount to high treason for some die-hard lead sled lovers.

However, older Ford historians would recall the SVO Mustang, which sold during the mid-80s as a response to higher fuel costs and stricter emissions. In addition to a turbo four-cylinder, the SVO included four-wheel-disc brakes, altered suspension geometry, and upgraded suspension components to give the Mustang an edge on the road course, rather than the drag strip.

It would appear as though the cycle is repeating. The modern move towards fuel efficiency is forcing domestic automakers to once again rethink what it means to create a sporty car, and the Mustang is definitely along for the ride.

In this video, Motor Trend’s Carlos Lago takes a close look at the new Mustang EcoBoost to render a verdict on whether this iteration is worthy of the galloping horse badge.

The tests hit all the main data points, including several runs on the dyno to analyze torque and power curves, a blast down the drag strip, 60-to-0 braking performance, lateral grip via the figure eight, and driving impressions on the road.

In addition to a new powerplant, the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost boasts an independent rear suspension. While this may hurt quarter-mile times, it should make the modern Mustang one of the best-handling pony cars ever produced, something that is put to the test by touring car champion Randy Pobst at Willow Springs International Raceway.

How do you feel about the EcoBoost Mustang? Are you excited by the prospect of a turbo four-cylinder, or is it V-8 all the way? Let us know in the comments.

2015 Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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